The Knowland family owned/published the Oakland Tribune for many years
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Date Posted: Saturday, March 16, 07:57:47am
In reply to:
's message, "IMDb" on Saturday, March 16, 07:26:22am
The Knowland Family era
The Tribune Tower was the headquarters of the Oakland Tribune from 1924 until 2007.
After five terms in the United States House of Representatives, Joseph R. Knowland (1873–1966) purchased the Oakland Tribune from Dargie's widow, Hermina Peralta Dargie. In his first edition as publisher of the Oakland Tribune, November 14, 1915, he wrote, "It is perfectly understood that what the Tribune does, rather than what it promises, will determine the true measure of its worth; and with that understanding, the Tribune, under its new control, girds to its work."
Knowland moved the Tribune to a new location at 13th and Franklin Streets on March 25, 1918. Under Knowland, the Tribune became one-third of a triumvirate of California Republican newspapers with conservative viewpoints, along with the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle. The Tribune endorsed Republican candidates and "J.R." (as Knowland was widely known) often picked and controlled Republican elected officials. The Tribune would make many political careers, the most noted being Knowland's own son William F. Knowland and Earl Warren.
In 1921, Knowland started radio station KLX and his newspaper library. The 305 feet tall Tribune Tower, an Oakland landmark, was completed in 1923. The Tribune moved its business into the tower in 1924. The Tribune Publishing Corporation, was founded by Knowland on January 4, 1928. The publishing corporation held interests in KLX, part owner of a paper mill in Tacoma, Washington and subsidiary businesses, U-Bild, Tower Graphics and Tribune Features, Inc.
In the mid-1930s, J.R. tied in with the Associated Press Wirephoto Service. He had a direct wire link for international news from London, England. The mast head logo, which became an icon of the paper, showed Oakland, a port to the world and nation. The logo changed with the times: the Tower, transport ship and steam locomotive; in later years, the Tower, the Bay Bridge, larger transport ship, diesel engine, the china clipper and later, a jet airplane.
On September 1, 1950, the Tribune became the sole Oakland daily newspaper, with the demise of its competitor, William Randolph Hearst's Oakland Post Enquirer.
In 1960, Joseph R. Knowland's son, former U.S. Senator William F. Knowland (1908–1974), was named editor; he had shared being assistant publisher with his brother, Joseph Russell "Russ" Knowland, Jr. (1901–1961), since 1933. Russ Knowland's 1961 death made his brother Bill sole successor to their father.
On February 1, 1966, Joseph R. Knowland died at the age of 92. William F. Knowland was appointed president and publisher. His son, Joseph William Knowland became vice-president and general manager. Bill Knowland added to the logo, A Responsible Metropolitan Newspaper. The Senator had assumed duties as the Tribune's publisher and editor. He became the president of The Tribune Publishing Corporation.
Under Bill Knowland's ownership, the Tribune had a conservative editorial position and a reputation for being strongly pro-business. As the city of Oakland became more ethnically and politically diverse in the 1960s and 1970s, the Tribune was unable to respond quickly enough to the demographic changes (and the political and social unrest exemplified, among other factors, by the University of California, Berkeley, student uprisings and the Black Panther movement).
The Tribune's readership declined after the early 1960s as a large portion of the paper's traditional subscription base relocated to the newly developing suburbs south and east of Oakland. In southern Alameda County, the readership went to Floyd Sparks's The (Hayward) Daily Review and in Contra Costa County to Dean Lesher's Contra Costa Times.
In 1973, Bill Knowland wrote in Fortune magazine, "Any city needs a means of communication between the diverse members of its community. Communication is essential."
Bill Knowland's personal life would soon affect the Oakland Tribune. Two days after the Tribune celebrated its 100th anniversary on February 21, 1974, William F. Knowland committed suicide. On the death of their father, Joseph William Knowland (1930- ), became the Tribune's editor and publisher; Emelyn K. Jewett (1929–1988) became president of The Tribune Publishing Corporation.
The California Press Association honored Joseph W. Knowland, as the winner of the 1975, Publisher of the Year award. This honor was bestowed on Joe Knowland for his progressive innovations in the operations and makeup of the newspaper.
End of the Knowland Era: CCC and Gannett
In 1977, the Knowland Family sold the Oakland Tribune to Combined Communications Corporation, owned by Arizona-based outdoor sign mogul Karl Eller. The Tribune Publishing Corporation, was dissolved by the Knowland Family. Eller had recently acquired The Cincinnati Enquirer. In 1979, CCC merged with the East Coast-based media conglomerate Gannett Company, and the Tribune was thus acquired by Gannett Company. That year, Allen H. Neuharth, Gannett CEO, used the Tribune as a pilot project with a new morning paper called East Bay Today, which served as an early prototype of Gannett's later national paper USA Today. In 1979, Gannett named Robert C. Maynard (1937–1993) editor, becoming the first African-American editor in the paper's history. In 1983, Maynard—who by this time had become publisher and with Gannett's blessing—consolidated the Tribune and East Bay Today into a single morning newspaper under the Tribune name.
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